Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gendering Orientalism

Gendering Orientalism: race, femininity and representation by Reina Lewis

An effectively written and persuasive argument for a gendered analysis of aspects of colonial art. Provides a good introduction into certain aspects of imperial culture, and particularly the French context of framing civilization and race. It's clearly bridged by much other scholarship, and shows a comfort in applying other concepts to its specific chronological and regional focus. Shows a necessary and useful updating to Said's Orientalism in overview, and to this end features crisp language and good subdivision of the book. Not really much to criticize here. It's not revolutionary scholarship and for most readers isn't going to be transformative, but seeking the titular themes interested scholars will find a fully competent analysis.

Better than: Women and Gender in Islam by Leila Ahmed

Worse than: Gender and the Politics of History by Joan Scott

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